Smart Girls Tour Light on the Abacos Islands

Barbara and her partner decided that after lugging around "too much luggage" during their last visit to the Abacos Islands, that this year, they’d adhere to the Red Oxx travel light philosophy. Ultimately pleased with their decision, the two go on to explain how the Air Boss and Gator conform to different methods of travel, whether it be by plane or by boat, they are more than satisfied with their luggage AND their mode of carry-on travel.

For submitting her Adventure Journal, Barbara gets her choice of a Market Tote or Rigger Wallet. Why not submit your story today?

The Abacos chain of islands are so different than Nassau and Freeport and the more widely known areas of the Bahamas that people don’t say, "We’re going to the Bahamas" when they’re going to the Abacos. Worlds apart, the Abacos are much more rustic and natural and lack the hotels and casinos and nightlife of other Bahama vacation sites.

The last time we enjoyed the Abacos we carried too much luggage. This time, we proudly carried only our RedOxx bags. The Air Boss is amazing in it’s capacity. I packed the following items in it for our trip: (this is a handy list readers can use – Jim)

  • 4 pairs of shorts
  • 4 shirts
  • Underwear for a week
  • 2 pairs of long pants
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 hat
  • 2 long-sleeved t-shirts
  • 1 nightshirt
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 2 pairs of sandals and (this is the really amazing part)
  • 1 pair of full-size flippers, snorkel mask and snorkel tube.

And not only did my eye-catching purple colored Air Boss hold all that without forcing or bulging, it was easy to carry. Wow!

After getting all that comfortably and neatly in my Air Boss, I turned to my new Gator Gadget Bag. Equally amazing capacity. It held my full-size digital/SLR camera, three lens filters, a telephoto lens, a battery charger, a t-shirt, a hat, my wallet, passport, keys, cellphone, hairbrush, carryon toiletry bag, airline tickets, notepad, chewing gum, lipstick, change purse, expandable travel beach towel, sunglass case and a bottle of water. Remarkable.

We boarded the plane to Miami and my Air Boss fit easily and freely in the overhead compartment. My Gator was kept at my seat. From Miami to Marsh Harbour in the Abacos, one boards a very small plane, with overhead bins about 1/3 smaller than national flights.

No big deal. My Red Oxx bags never left my sight. No worrying about where they were and if they’d make it all the way. No standing about baggage claims areas.

Once in the Abacos, we boarded our 21 ft. rental boat and headed for our beachfront house on Elbow Cay. My Red Oxx luggage stowed easily under the seat, so no worries about waves or sea spray making a mess of things! The wind made it a bit choppy on the day of our arrival and we saw several other vacationers with large bulky pieces of luggage getting soaked on the bow of their boats as we passed them.

My Gator was with me every day. Having it allowed me to comfortably carry my wallet and camera equipment with me wherever I went, and my travel beach towel fit inside, too. So whether cracking crab claws at Capt. Jack’s in Hopetown Harbor, fishing from the boat, snorkeling at Sand Dollar or Tahiti beaches or riding our golf cart down the lane from town to our house, my Gator was at my side.

No shoulder strap sores, no other bags to mess with and no trouble carrying anything I needed with me. And lots of fun answering questions about Red Oxx luggage construction and availability when my smart purple bags attracted attention. My partner took an Air Boss on the trip and has already said, "I want a Gator for Christmas!"

Time in the Abacos is always memory-making and it’s always hard to leave. There’s the crystal clear turquoise waters, the sea life, the secluded white sandy beaches, the tasty fresh conch dishes, the cold beer, the sweet people and the blue skies and shady palms. And that slow, relaxed pace. But coming home this time was more enjoyable than ever.

When we were going through customs to leave the Abacos, a tall serious-looking Bahamian security officer questioned me about whether I was a visitor or had been there on business. She glanced at my bags and said, "Is that all you’ve got?" and waived me through with a wry smile when I replied, "Yes."

A few minutes later, friends of mine emerged from the security area laughing, and told me the security agent had commented, "The smart girls are travelin’ light!" Ha ha! She’d taken note of our Red Oxx bags. Little did she know how much stuff we’d packed inside for the return trip home.

Upon arrival in Washington, D.C. that night, it was sleeting and snowing. Travelers everywhere were fighting with their wheeled and hard-sided luggage, but not us. We ran right outside, bypassing the luggage area. We never let our Red Oxx luggage touch the ground and headed for home.

Whether carrying tackle, having my camera ready at any time, hiding a gift bought in town, packing lunch and my beach towel when in search of starfish or conch shells or going fishing for mahi-mahi, or even visiting museums in a foreign land, my Gator is going to be by my side.

It’s functional and yet nice-looking. It did not look out of place on a beach or a boat, in a restaurant, in a coffee shop, a business meeting or a boat dock. I can hardly wait to take it and my Air Boss when I travel to Chicago for a golf tournament and the Solheim Cup this summer!

Barbara Brewer
Milton, Delaware

We love those amazing islands and even better, we love "smart girls that can travel light." Right guys?

Cheers, Jim

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